The Chinese boom in Australia’s tourism, trade and various business industries has resulted in a language barrier as many Australians do not speak Chinese.
The need to engage not only on a linguistic level, but also on a cultural level, means that Australians in these industries would be well served to learn to speak Chinese and gain a better understanding of the cultural nuances of dealing with Chinese business professionals, tourist and other Chinese visitors to their country. China is ahead of Australia in this regard as English is taught in school from primary to university levels and through various business language instruction programs.
This language barrier concern is not only related to Australian markets. China is a large exporter of many goods and services globally and a key ingredient to conducting successful business around the globe is to learn the language of your target audeinces/ markets
In Australia, language experts estimate that only about 150 people (without a Chinese background) can speak Chinese. This is a problem with academic curriculums in the country, with many students not encouraged to take up a second language, whether it be Chinese or any other language.
Learning a second language does not only benefit you in terms of conducting business with potential global partners and customers, but for millions of tourists that travel the globe, simply being able to communicate with foreigners on a personal level would also be mutually beneficial.
To read more, please see: The NAB ACRI Australia-China Business Index: Barriers to business engagement.